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02/01/2021 Assessment Community Weekly

New COVID-related agricultural assessment form

Chapter 220 of the Laws of 2020 authorizes assessors to grant agricultural assessments to applicants who qualified in 2020 but who did not meet the average gross sales requirement ($10,000 or, if less than 7 acres, $50,000) for 2021 due to the pandemic. Such applicants are required to submit a new form to the assessor: Form RP-305-f, Application for Exception from Minimum Average Sale Value Requirement of Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25-AA due to COVID-19 Disaster Emergency for 2021. (This form was discontinued). 

Qualifying applicants should follow the instructions on the form and coordinate with their local cooperative extension to receive certification that, but for the COVID-19 disaster emergency, they would have met the average gross sales requirement on this year’s assessment roll.
Note: This law is only in effect for 2021 assessment rolls. As written, the law expires at the end of this year.

Executive Budget proposal regarding Enhanced STAR

We’ve received questions from some of you regarding one of the proposals in the Governor's Executive Budget.

If adopted into law, homeowners receiving the Basic STAR exemption who age into or otherwise become initially eligible for Enhanced STAR, would be required to register for the STAR credit to receive the Enhanced benefit. The Enhanced STAR exemption would be closed to new applicants.

This proposal would not impact current recipients of the Enhanced exemption, who would be permitted to stay in the exemption program and to rejoin the exemption program if they lost the exemption because their income rose above the limit.  In addition, an owner currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption who opted not to apply for the Enhanced STAR credit would be allowed to stay in the Basic STAR exemption program.

What to do next

As you receive new Enhanced STAR applications, we encourage you to continue entering new IVP applications into the IVP Tool or transmit them to us for data entry.

We will not know the future of this proposal until we have an Enacted State Budget (typically around April 1). Whether it is adopted or not, having new applicants entered into the IVP Tool will be helpful to administer the program.

Electronic filing of grievances

Last year, ORPTS worked with a group of assessors and county directors to develop new standards under RPTL §104 for the e-filing of grievances. Local governments that would like to accept e-filed grievance applications must follow these standards. For the details, see our newest webpage: Standards for electronic real property tax administration.

Letters to STAR exemption recipients with non-qualifying incomes

STAR exemption recipients with non-qualifying incomes will receive letters shortly. The two letters hitting mailboxes this week are below:

  • RP-425-RDE: income exceeds the $90,550 limit for Enhanced STAR.
  • RP-425-RDB: income exceeds the $500,000 maximum for any STAR benefit.

If a property owner contacts you about one of these letters, we recommend the following:

  • If they disagree with our determination, direct them to follow the instructions on the letter.
  • If they have questions about the letter, have them call the number on the letter – 518-457-2036.